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Guaranteed Ad Viewability Builds Advertiser Trust

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Guaranteed ad viewability is another way to build trust with online advertisers. They will know that people are actually seeing the ads.

Websites like The Economist make a commitment to guaranteed views of display ads by putting that guarantee into rate cards.

For example, the print and online publishing company says it will ensure that 75 percent of all ad impressions are viewable.

It follows the standards set by the Internet Advertising Bureau on viewability. Those standards include:

  • Making at least 50 percent of the actual ad viewable.
  • Allowing client-side counting.
  • Disclosing material internal traffic.

Why Does Ad Viewability Matter?

Research shows that website visitors have a limit to how much they will scroll down a page. Sophisticated analytic reports will show that viewership of the page steadily drops as people continue to scroll. As a result, ad viewability drops as well.

So a large responsive ad at the bottom of a long page may have 100,000 guaranteed “impressions”, but the impressions don’t matter if no one sees the ad.

Anyone who directly sells advertising for a website should place a high priority on selling ad positions that have a high level of ad viewability. Some of these positions include a responsive leaderboard at the top of the page or a rectangle or large horizontal ad in a sidebar.

Likewise, it makes sense for publishers to design a sign to enhance viewable ad positions. This approach means publishers should push ads higher on a page, although not to the point of being obnoxious with visitors.

A page that has more advertising than content in the opening view will increase the chance of disgruntled visitors who leave without consuming anything.

Online Versus Broadcast

Online salespeople will find a competitive advantage in the notion of selling guaranteed views in addition to guaranteed impressions.

The “guaranteed impression” concept is not unlike TV commercials. Yes, the commercial has aired, but was anyone in the room when it did air? Television sales people can’t make that guarantee. Online sales people can with viewable ad impressions. Someone clicked to get to that page. They were sitting in front of the computer when the page and the ad appeared.

That said, anyone who sells the viewability concept will have to deal with some consequences. Advertisers who grasp the value of viewability will look on non-viewable ads as less valuable.

The answer lies with the rate card. Viewable ads should command a higher CPM and vice versa for non-viewable ads.

Rate cards can have a base rate for all ads plus a premium for any viewable impressions.

2 Responses to “Guaranteed Ad Viewability Builds Advertiser Trust”

  1. Bob Mack Says:

    We have always believed this. We do not sell rotating ads (all ads are visible all the time). The advertiser knows very time anyone visits a page their ad will be there. We also try to keep all ads “above the fold” for desk top display.

  2. Scott S. Bateman Says:

    Excellent point about the advertiser. Both my sales staff and my clients often had to deal with their own clients who wanted to see their rotating ads but couldn’t because they visited the site at the wrong time.

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